|*L-R: Itanyi, Juwah & Uduma, all NCC officials at one of the Commission's events|
In what will go down in history as one of the biggest upsets in telecommunications transactions in Nigeria, little unknown Bitflux Communications has surprised telecommunication pundits by defeating giants, Globacom to emerge as winners of the 2.3GHz spectrum auction held in Abuja, FCT yesterday.
The electronic auction which took place at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, was witnessed by executive commissioners of the NCC and other stakeholders in the telecommunications industry including a representative of the State Security Services (SSS).
However, Bitflux according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has 14 business days to pay the bid price of $23, 251,000 and another 30 days to pay N155 million for Unified Access Service Licence, which will allow it to operate as wholesale wireless broadband services provider.
Its inability to meet up with the requirements within the stipulated time will see Globacom carting away the prized trophy.
Dr Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the regulatory body said the process which was electronically done, went through two rounds. While the first round which had set $23million in addition to another 15 per cent which made total to stand at $26.450million had produced no winner, the machine immediately switched to “tie breakers’ indicating thatneither of the two bidders was ready to go above what was put on offer.
The second round produced Bitflux offering $23,251,000 while Globacom upped the game by offering to pay $23, 50,001 (twenty-three million, fifty thousand and one dollar).
Engineer Biodun Omoniyi, an elated director of Bitflux Communications, congratulated the NCC for the open, fair and transparent process and congratulated the big brother, Globacom for being magnanimous even in defeat as according to him, “Nobody can put his head down to fight with the Bull.”
Group Chief Operating Officer, Globacom, Mohammed Jameel who led the team, said the second national carrier considered the spectrum price too high when compared with what was offered in the past, adding that it does not align with the telco’s business model.
He commended the NCC for the successful completion of the process and wished the winners all the best, adding that Glo will be willing to participate in subsequent spectrum auctions by the NCC in the future.
Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications Technology, Dr Tunji Olaopa, said the emergence of a wholesale wireless broadband service provider will accelerate broadband penetration in the country and spur economic growth, development and prosperity of the people of Nigeria.
Bitflux Communication is a consortium made up of VDT Communications and Superflux Group.